In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, cross walls between individual cells are normally incomplete, making the entire fungal network vulnerable to attack by viruses and selfish DNAs. Accordingly, several genome surveillance mechanisms are maintained to help the fungus to combat these repetitive elements. One of these defense mechanisms is known as meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA (MSUD), which is an RNA silencing system that identifies and silences unpaired genes during meiosis. Utilizing common RNAi proteins such as Dicer and Argonaute, MSUD targets mRNAs homologous to the unpaired sequence to achieve silencing. In this study, we have identified another silencing component known as the cap-binding complex (CBC). Made up of CBP20 and CBP80 (cap-binding proteins 20 and 80), CBC associates with the 5' cap of nascent mRNA transcripts in eukaryotes. The loss of CBC leads to a deficiency in MSUD activity, suggesting its role in mediating silencing. As confirmed in this study, CBC is predominantly nuclear, although it is known to travel in and out of the nucleus to facilitate RNA transport. Similar to animals but unlike plants, CBP20’s robust nuclear re-entry is shown to be dependent on CBP80. CBC interacts with a component (Argonaute) of the perinuclear meiotic silencing complex (MSC), directly linking the two cellular factors.
- Neurospora crassa
- RNA interference (RNAi)
- cap-binding proteins (CBPs)
- meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA (MSUD)
- Received December 22, 2016.
- Accepted February 3, 2017.
- Copyright © 2017 Author et al.
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